New bands that dig retro sound are not really new. However bands that like retro sound and nevertheless have their own contemporary style are rare. Same with The Vals from Belfast. The capital of Northern Ireland is not necessarily the epicentre of music. A fact that couldn't really stop the guys Paul Doherty, John Rossi, Marty Malone and Owen Duffy from making a record like ‚Sticks & Stones'. But the content is not stony at all - rather straight, danceable, sweaty and dreamy at the same time. It keeps you moving and gives you a feeling of being a child just like the same titled game. The 12 tracks on ‚Sticks & Stones' balance old and new, past and present, stale and modern. On one hand there are songs like ‚Things will never be the same, ‚These Little Reasons and Yesterday Today which are just beautiful and can absolutely compete with Oasis ‚Wonderwall or Razorlight's Wire To Wire. On the other hand there are pieces like With You - Jerry Lee Lewis meets Billy Corgan - or the theme song Sticks & Stones - Hammond sound meets horns - which are so catchy-drifty it makes you wanna get on a car and go for a ride. Then there is a track like Light Shine Down providing the catchiest piano tune ever. However all songs, no matter if it's a ballad or dancetune, have one thing in common - a certain intimacy, a feeling of knowing the songs from somewhere withouth finding them boring. You simply feel at home. One could get the impression The Vals let the album grow by-and-by. After all a nice home is created step by step as well. But in times like these time is money. Good news want to be spread as fast as possible. To cut a long story short - the album was recorded in 3 days. Lot's of good food made in the Black Sheep Studio kitchen delivered the required energy and good mood. Of course one or the other beer also played a role.